First Advisor

Eugene Foster

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors


Environmental Science and Management


Dental amalgams -- Environmental aspects, Mercury wastes -- Environmental aspects, Dentistry -- Waste disposal, Water -- Pollution -- Prevention, Hazardous wastes -- Management




Mercury is a persistent, toxic pollutant and at elevated levels can cause serious environmental harm to aquatic life, wildlife, and humans. Mercury from anthropogenic sources continues to be a significant risk to human health causing regulatory agencies to address this issue. The purpose of this study is to review the sources, forms and adverse effects of mercury, and identify the tools regulating mercury-containing dental waste management, and the advantages and disadvantages of various management practices that help to minimize mercury releases into municipal sewage system and into waterbodies. Dental facilities are significant mercury dischargers to wastewater treatment facilities and dental clinics have become a priority for regulatory initiatives and strong mercury minimization efforts in recent years. This study evaluates the management practices, appropriate tools and techniques, and proper recycling and disposal methods that are important for mercury minimization efforts at dental offices.


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